This year, the library is celebrating 70 years of existence. In the pre-Internet, pre-computer days, libraries were the main and sometimes only resource in a town for in-depth information on any given subject. Back in the day of only three TV channels and no live streaming, libraries provided a valuable source of entertainment–books.
Each town struggled to maintain their own library. It was through the unification of libraries in different towns and developing a distribution system between branches that libraries began to flourish.
Today libraries provide the main and sometimes only outlet for those needing to use a computer or the Internet. These services are provided free or for a modest fee. Virtually everything is available from the library–books, music, films, periodicals, tapes, etc. Dust off your library card or get a new one and check them out. The Harrisonville branch also has a genealogical area that keeps microfilm of [most] issues of county newspapers. Just about anything else to aid you in your search is there as well.
I forget sometimes that everyone was not born and raised in Cass County. Not to mention that most residents are younger than me and the battles for services have already been fought. But the celebration of the forming of the library is significant in the development of Cass County. A lot of counties didn’t at the time and still don’t have their own library network. One does not have to travel very far to find a county that lacks this service. The leaders at that time were truly visionaries and the epitome of what civic-minded citizens are supposed to be. There was no “what’s in it for me” or “how will my business benefit.” We could use more of that now in all facets of our country.
My personal memory of the Drexel branch revolves around the summer reading program and librarian Lucille Bundy. Mrs. Bundy served there possibly from the inception to her retirement in the early 1970s. Kaye Edmonds, one of my all time favorite people, took over for her and was there probably at least the next 20 years. Use your library!
The above letter, by Pat Thomas, first appeared in the December 6th issue of the Harrisonville Star. We have reprinted it with permission.
Despite a ballot measure in the 1970s that would have effectively moved operations out of the county, a “hick editor from Podunk” helped keep the library operated locally by responding in print and on the radio. Your library is still funded and operated locally, and we still strive to provide services that our patrons need.
There’s still time to catch our 70th Anniversary exhibit. Stop by the Harrisonville branch to explore the library through the years. The exhibit runs through December 30th.